The sandwich is the iconic lunch meal of people across the globe. Sandwiches come in many shapes and sizes, but one thing you can be sure of - they aren’t all a healthy choice. In fact, nutrition information from some popular sandwich shops show that many options have enough fat and calories to fulfill entire day’s quota. Whether you order your sandwich for take-out or you make it home, there are some easy tweaks you can make to create a slimmer and healthier sandwich.
1. Mustard for Mayo
Many a sandwich is slathered with a hefty dose of mayonnaise. While it does add a pretty great flavor, it’s packed with fat and calories and wreck your low-calorie eating goals. Choosing mustard instead saves you hundreds of calories and mustard is also fat free. If you need that little dose of taste, go for mustard instead of mayo.
2. Go for Whole Grains
Sandwich bread abounds, which can make it hard to find one that is a healthy pick. You always want to go for whole grain breads. That’s because they are higher in fiber, B vitamins and iron than white versions. It’s harder to find whole grain breads at restaurants, but you definitely find them on store shelves so you can make your own delicious sandwich right at home. Look for bread that lists a whole grain as the first ingredient.
3. Add Some Healthy Fat
That does not include mayo. However, fats are satisfying so they can keep you from being hungry soon after your sandwich is gone. They also give your body some energy for getting through the rest of the day and are good for your heart and brain. Avocado is a prime choice. Mash it as a spread or place a couple of slices on your other toppings. Hummus or an oil and vinegar dressing are other great options.
4. Go for Real Meats
You’ve probably heard that you should limit the amount of processed meats you eat. This is because they are loaded with fat, calories and salt and are pretty much a diet fail. Instead, opt for fresh meat. I like to shred leftover chicken breast and mix it with avocado as a tasty and filling sandwich topping. Leftover turkey with a dab of cranberry or pork with a squirt of barbecue sauce are other ideas that will make lunch something to look forward to.
5. Half Veggies
Make your sandwich half veggies and you can be sure you’re getting a good dose of fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium and antioxidants. That means you get nutrients that support healthy digestion, reduce the risk of heart disease, boost immunity and regulate your blood pressure. And all for just a few calories and no fat. Cut back on meat fillings and round out your sandwich with veggies to make up for the difference. Tomatoes, sprouts, bell peppers, onions and cucumbers are yummy choices.
6. Add Some Flavor
There are tons of ways you can add flavor to a sandwich that help keep the overall fat and calorie content in check so it’s healthy and delicious at the same time. Try fresh basil leaves, dill or parsley. You can also shake some crushed red pepper, salt or black pepper on for a nice bite. Mix and match your favorite herbs and spices for new and different flavors all the time.
7. Keep Size in Check
Even the healthiest sandwich can derail your goals if it’s gigantic. Opt for a small sandwich and round it out with a piece of fruit to fill you up. If you wind up with a supersized sandwich, cut it in half and eat the rest for lunch tomorrow.
What’s your favorite sandwich combination? Turkey with lettuce, tomato, avocado and alfalfa sprouts tops my list. Do you have any other tips for slimming your sandwich?